Where Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino lead, the fans will surely follow. Just look at Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, the revival of the fan-favorite WB/CW series Gilmore Girls that was met with fevered anticipation.
"Netflix did an amazing job promoting this, but it was the anticipation from fans that really kind of pushed it over the edge of like, it was really, really out there," Daniel told E! News in a phone interview. "To the point where some people were starting to say, ‘Oh, the much anticipated,' or even ‘over-hyped,' but I don't think Netflix even over-hyped this. I think the fans' anticipation for this was pretty crazy and much bigger than any of us anticipated."
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, the four-part event series picking up roughly 10 years after the original show ended its seven-season run, has truly been the talk of the town, from your Thanksgiving dinner table to The Tonight Show. Lorelai (Lauren Graham), Rory (Alexis Bledel), Emily (Kelly Bishop), Luke (Scott Patterson) and the rest of your favorite Stars Hollow residents came back in a big way. But are these four chapters the end of the road for Gilmore Girls? Get that answer and read on for more from series creator Amy Sherman-Palladino (ASP) and her husband, executive producer Daniel Palladino (DP).
Lauren and Alexis said discussions about returning happened as far back as 2014. Was it always sparked by Edward Herrmann's passing?
ASP: Ed had a big part of it, I will say, because it was such a shock to all of us, and no one got to say goodbye. I think that we were thinking is there was a reason to come back other than it would be fun to hang out, then it felt like suddenly there was story to tell. I think it made it easier to make that journey into the Warner Bros. office and say, ‘What do you guys think about this?'
A lot of it was prompted by Ed and also the fact that suddenly there was a Netflix. There was a place to go do something a little different and tell the story a little differently, which was really the only way we would do this. We were never interested in just doing a bunch of new episodes and a freestanding movie never felt quite right. So, we needed to find that form that felt right for us.
I'm sure you're probably asked this wherever you go: Could we see more?
ASP: [Laughs.] Oh, I don't know. We're enjoying the fact that these are finally out there and people are seeing these now. These were stories that Dan and I locked ourselves away in attics coming up with. Now that we're out, I think we're just kind of like, happy they're out.
With the ending, and Emily in Nantucket, people were theorizing there could be a spinoff. I know there are hopeful fans out there.
ASP: [Laughs.] Emily in Nantucket? I don't know, haven't thought of it.
Do you 100 percent know who the father of Rory's baby is?
ASP: Do we know? We know.
Does the actor know?
ASP: [Laughs.] Look—
DP: I think a lot of clues are out there. I know with the time passage it wasn't 100 percent clear, but we also didn't have her engage with who she thought was the father. She felt like she was going ahead on this, deciding what to do and how to do it solo, that's why we had her go to her father. At that point you didn't know she was pregnant, but in hindsight, I think that was—
ASP: In hindsight, she was searching for what is her path going to be. Look, I thought I had told Lauren the last four words 10 years ago and she informed me that I didn't, so I don't know what I've told anybody and what I've said to anybody. We just sort of felt like we wanted to leave it in that way because it was really less about who the father was and more about Rory repeating her mother's history.
At the end of the day what do you think the show's legacy is? What do you want it to be remembered for?
ASP: Well, you know, the show's become much bigger than we ever thought it was going to be [Laughs.], so we're still kind of mystified that this is happening at all. We thought we were a nice WB show that had our little cult-y friends and we were happy with that.
DP: I think our goal, I know this is going to sound pat, but our goal really was just to entertain and I think the way we wrote it, it became something more especially to young women. I think…the Rory character was a different kind of role model than a lot of young women on TV—and still to this day.
She was book-oriented, family-oriented. We had conversations between women in every episode that passed the Bechdel test. Men and relationships were always a big part of it, but it was about life and their journey and their goals and education. And that's, I think, one of the best things, that we get a lot of young people talking to us about, ‘I got focused on college because of this show, I started reading more books because of this show, I'm closer to my mother because of this show,' or mothers saying, ‘I'm closer to my daughter because of this show.' So that's all kind of stuff—you can't write towards that. It's just a happy outcome of what we did.
Do you have any regrets now that the four episodes are out there? Anything you wanted to do differently?
DP: When we did this, we had all these cards and we estimated, when we got them all laid that we had eight or nine hours of stuff. We had a lot more stories that we wanted to do with a lot of the other characters and we just kept ourselves in that six-hour time limit. I think we went a little over, I think we went 10 minutes over on "Fall." We had a lot more stuff. There was no padding in this, it really was exactly what we wanted to tell—and even less than we wanted to tell…
ASP: I would've liked to have gotten a couple of more transition shots. [Laughs.] That's my big regret. We didn't quite get enough transition shots. We only had the town square for a very limited amount of time. They were literally Hoovering up the snow behind us as we were shooting in Luke's Diner, so a little more time. Three more days! But other than that, I think we feel like we had a great ride. We had a great ride. We got to come back together with our great cast and we got to do honor to Ed's memory, so I think we're all pretty cool about that.
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life is now streaming on Netflix.